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Fox News Just Another Lame Stream Media

Repeating the anti-rights narrative about Stand Your Ground laws.

by
Howard Nemerov

Bio

April 3, 2012 - 10:39 am

Fox authored an article about how the Congressional Black Caucus is using the Trayvon Martin shooting to push gun control. That’s a story in itself, but today’s lesson is about Fox’s bias against the Second Amendment.

As noted with other big media organizations, Fox should be able to hire a legal analyst to read self-defense law and produce authoritative copy. That they don’t is dangerous. They believe Stand Your Ground laws “allows for individuals to use deadly force — even outside their home — if they feel threatened.”

Dave Kopel has an excellent analysis of Florida’s self-defense law at the Volokh Conspiracy, a blog run by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. Highly recommended.

To begin with, Kopel notes a defender can only use deadly force without retreating when: “He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony…”

In other words, you must reasonably believe you’re in danger. Feeling threatened alone won’t stand up in court. A jury must be able to put themselves in your shoes and reasonably conclude they would have felt endangered, too. In other words, it’s not a threat, it’s a promise.

Fox’s criteria sounds more like paranoia, which Oxford English Dictionary defines as: “a mental illness characterized by delusions of persecutions…a tendency to suspect and distrust others…” Paranoid people feel threatened all the time; does the judicial system justify their shooting people?

As the Martin/Zimmerman case unfolded in the media, it became eminently clear that the fix was in:

  • Why else has NBC launched an internal investigation into their conveniently edited 911 audio of Zimmerman, making him appear racist?
  • Why else would media use outdated pictures of both Martin and Zimmerman in order to portray them different than current reality?
  • Why else would media continuously promote the presumption of Zimmerman’s guilt, when they don’t have access to all the evidence?
  • Why else would media continuously promote the fantasy that armed self-defense originated with Stand Your Ground, or that SYG enables anybody to shoot anybody for just feeling
    threatened
    ?

It’s more likely that media place society at risk with irresponsible reporting. They should be held criminally accountable should somebody show up in court claiming they shot because the media told them it was legal, simply because they felt threatened.

Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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